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Individual Mandates Not Up For Debate
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care
The individual mandate idea ended nationally the day Sen. Hillary Clinton dropped out of the Democratic race for president. The mandate was a major plank in Clinton's healthcare reform proposal, and is a key reason why Massachusetts has the lowest percentage of uninsured residents-yet there simply isn't widespread support for the idea. [Read More]
  September 3, 2008

 
Editor's Picks
Extra pounds mean insurance fees for Alabama workers
In an attempt to tackle obesity and the costs associated with unhealthy workers, Alabama will soon charge overweight state employees for their health insurance. State officials say the measure is an attempt to get employees more aware of their health, but some state employees are speaking out about the plan. The state already charges workers who smoke. [Read More]
Report: Transparency is a work in progress
Large employers view price and quality transparency as a key to a broader consumer strategy, but health plans have not provided necessary consumer tools, according to the Center for Studying Health System Change. The information provided by health plans is often publicly available quality information rather than health plan claims data. Health plans will need to offer better price and quality comparison tools if they expect consumers to make better healthcare choices, according to the organization. [Read More]
Three confess to role in South Florida Medicare fraud
Three people who were reportedly part of a scheme that made $110 million in false Medicare claims have pleaded guilty. Federal prosecutors are talking to others involved in the scheme, but the three ringleaders, who are brothers, have fled the country, possibly to Cuba. The three men, who operated approximately a dozen HIV infusion treatment clinics, allegedly funneled millions of Medicare tax dollars to buy hotels, cars, homes, boats, horses, a helicopter, and a water park in the Dominican Republic, according to prosecutors. [Read More]
Four Medicaid health plans withdrawing from Florida counties
More than 100,000 Medicaid patients will have to change insurers and possibly doctors after the four largest health plans in Florida's Medicaid managed care experiment announced they are leaving the program. WellCare's HealthEase and Staywell plans, UnitedHealthcare, and Amerigroup have informed the state that by Dec. 1 they will withdraw from the program. [Read More]
Florida to detail plan for 4 million uninsured adults
The approximately four million uninsured Floridians will hear details as to how they may get covered under the new Cover Florida plan on Sept. 8. Nine companies submitted proposals for the program last month. Insurers involved in the Cover Florida program will offer low-cost coverage to Floridians between the ages of 19 and 64 who have been uninsured for at least six months. Unemployed residents are expected to receive access to the plan sooner. [Read More]
Health insurance venture propels Massachusetts to top of the list
More than nine out of every 10 Massachusetts residents has health insurance, the highest rate in the nation, according to a Census Bureau report. The bureau found that when data from 2006 and 2007 were averaged, 92.1% of Bay State residents had insurance, which is an increase of more than two percentage points over the previous two years. The increase comes at the same time that the commonwealth implemented its health reform, which required residents to have health insurance. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Price strategy puts WellPoint in bind
Wall Street Journal (subscription required), September 3, 2008
Federal judge approves Ford healthcare trust
AP/Chicago Tribune, September 2, 2008
WHO study backs universal healthcare
AP/Yahoo News, August 29, 2008
Illinois genetic nondiscrimination law strengthened
AP/Chicago Tribune, August 29, 2008
Health plans: Consumer-driven programs fall out of favor in Iowa
Des Moines Register, September 2, 2008
Blue Cross Blue Shield buys Florida Health Care for $85 million
Orlando Business Journal, September 3, 2008
WellPoint spent $890,000 on lobbying in second quarter
Boston Globe, August 29, 2008
Let childless get Medicaid, Iowa leader exhorts
Des Moines Register, August 28, 2008
Georgia Officials: PeachCare, Medicaid services stay
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 29, 2008

Events/Audioconferences
On Demand: Health Literacy: Four Ways to Create a Successful Program
On Demand: Legal and Tax Implications of Incentive Program Designs
On Demand: Value-based insurance design: Alternative to high-deductible plans
Consumer Corner
On-site clinics gain popularity
The workplace clinic has evolved from a place to treat on-the-job injuries into a center for employee health and wellness. Nearly one-third of companies have or plan to have an on-site health center by 2009, up from 27% in 2006, states Watson Wyatt/National Business Group on Health research released in March, titled Realizing the Potential of Onsite Health Centers.[Read More]
Listen Up
Increase Member Satisfaction
Stan Nowak, CEO of Silverlink, discusses the importance of member communication and how healthcare companies can learn from consumer industries. [Listen Now]
From HealthLeaders Media
Wellness Not Just For Patients

Given the nature of the work, the healthcare industry and healthcare professionals should be on the vanguard of employer-sponsored wellness initiatives. But this is not always true. [Read More]
   
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